Resources for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren KinConnector Hotline A new hotline is available to help connect thousands of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren to the resources and programs available to them. The KinConnector hotline was established through Act 89 of 2018 to address the growing number of grandparents who have become primary caregivers to their grandchildren in Pennsylvania. It is a situation that has skyrocketed in recent years as a result of the state’s opioid epidemic. An estimated 82,000 grandparents are the sole caregivers for nearly 89,000 grandchildren. KinConnector can be reached by calling 1-866-KIN-2111 (1-866-546-2111). The hotline is staffed by social service professionals prepared to help families understand and access local, state and federal resources. A website of resources will also be available in the near future. In the meantime, we have put together the following list of information and services available to grandparents raising grandchildren. General Resources Pennsylvania Department of Health County Resource Guides health.pa.gov The Department of Health has created guides for available health and human services in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Each guide contains resources for children with special needs, health insurance, housing and more. United Way of Pennsylvania uwp.org Phone: 211 or 717 -238-7365 By dialing 211, you are connected with a United Way operator who has access to a database of health and human services resources available in local areas. These services include support groups, counseling centers, relevant non-profit organizations and more. Special Kids Network health.pa.gov Phone: 1-800-986-4550 The Special Kids Network offers a wealth of resources for children and youth with special needs or physical disabilities. The Network offers referrals to local resources, in-home coordination services and systematic support for families. PA Families PAFamiliesInc.org Phone: 1-800-947-4941 PA Families is a non-profit that offers a database of resources for families caring for children with emotional, behavioral or special needs. You can find resources by searching for your county and/or the type of services you are seeking. Grandfamilies grandfamilies.org Grandfamilies.org is a national legal resource that provides information to grandparents as they navigate the legal aspect of caregiving. Their website offers a searchable database of laws and pending legislation of importance to grandfamilies, as well as resource guides to guardianship, custody, foster care, financial assistance and contact information for local bar associations. PA Family Support Alliance pa-fsa.org Phone: 1-800-448-4906 The PA Family Support Alliance is a non-profit that provides education, support and training to help ensure the safety of children throughout Pennsylvania. The website includes many parenting resources as well as information on events they frequently hold in different communities throughout the state. Bereavement Resource Guide elunanetwork.org/assets/guides/BereavementResourceGuide_Pennsylvania.pdf This resource guide includes information about Pennsylvania organizations available to help children and families affected by grief and addiction. Pennsylvania Child Welfare Services dhs.pa.gov/citizens/childwelfareservices/ Phone: 1-800-932-0313 Pennsylvania’s Child Welfare services include information and contact info for county Children and Youth offices, local family centers, and resources for preventing child abuse and neglect. Penn State’s Kinship Navigator aese.psu.edu/extension/intergenerational/program-areas/kinship/programspsu.edu As a part of Penn State’s Intergenerational Program, the Kinship Care Locator is an online database of resources for kinship caregivers. You can find relevant resources by selecting your county of interest. Legal and Adoption Resources Pennsylvania Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service pabar.org/site/For-the-Public/Find-a-Lawyer Phone: 1-800-932-0311 The Pennsylvania Bar Association provides lawyer referrals and information on local Bar Associations. PA Law Help palawhelp.org PA LAW HELP provides free information on a variety of civil legal issues including adoption, guardianship and custody. You can find information about legal proceedings and use the website’s interactive tool (LawHelp Interactive) to fill out necessary forms and documents. Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network palegalaid.net Phone: 1-800-322-7572 The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network connects individuals and families who meet income requirements to local Legal Aid programs that can assist them with legal matters. Statewide Adoption Network (SWAN) adoptpakids.org Phone: 1-800-585-7926 Administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, SWAN offers a network of resources and/or information for families and children going through the adoption, custody and guardianship processes. With regard to Kinship families, they offer a variety of post-permanency services such as support groups and referrals to local family centers. Resources for Caregivers County Assistance Offices and COMPASS dhs.pa.gov compass.state.pa.us Phone: 1-800-692-7462 County Assistance Offices can help Pennsylvanians identify and apply for available benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Child Care Works and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Residents can also search for benefits using COMPASS, which is an online tool that allows users to find out what benefits they qualify for and apply for those benefits online. Area Agencies on Aging aging.pa.gov Phone: 1-800-753-8827 Provides contact information for your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). Some AAA’s offer a Caregiver or Grandparent Support Program which can provide resources, support groups and financial assistance to grandparents raising their grandchildren. Find Your Local Social Security Office ssa.gov Phone: 1-800-772-1213 You can search for your local Social Security Office and contact them to determine if you or your grandchildren are eligible for any additional benefits. Find your local Social Security Office here.